Oxtex is an early-stage medical device company which has developed a novel self-inflating tissue expander for the use in reconstructive surgery based on technology developed at Oxford University. Oxtex received the OBN Bioscience award for Best Emerging MedTech in 2011 and Best New Medtech product in 2012. The Oxtex devices have applications in animal and human reconstructive surgery and progress towards initial clinical trials in both animals and humans is underway.
Oxtex addresses a significant challenge in reconstructive surgery, namely the absence of sufficient skin in the area where the surgery is taking place. However, skin has the remarkable ability to grow when put under controlled tension leading to the creation of additional skin and associated soft tissue. This is what the Oxtex device exploits. The device is implanted underneath the skin close to the repair site, where it will slowly expand in one direction causing the skin to grow. After the expander has been removed, this "new skin" can then be used in the reconstruction. More information on tissue expansion can be found here.
Oxtex has developed a self-inflatable tissue expander that enables the creation of additional skin through controlled stretching in a wide variety of anatomical locations. The expander has applications in many areas of plastic surgery (burns/scar revision, breast reconstruction, dental and oral surgery, crossbite correction), as well as the veterinary market (tumour removal). Successful tissue expansion reduces the cost of treatment and is a significant improvement to other alternative forms of surgical reconstruction.